Davide Santon Biography
Santon’s playing and personality both have been wildly praised by soccer greats such as Cristiano Ronaldo, the Portuguese international soccer sensation, and Jose Mourinho, coach to Italy’s Internazionale club. He has also caught the eye of Italy’s Head Coach, Marcello Lippi, who has compared him to the best Italian defender of all time, Paolo Maldini. Santon began his career as a winger but now usually plays full back and has been described as an attacking right back. He is also extremely competent in the left back position.
Born in Portomaggiore, Ferrarra, on 2 January 1991, this talented young player represented Ravenna until he was 14 when he transferred to Internazionale Milano and joined their youth system. Internazionale are the current Serie A champions – one of the world’s most elitist leagues – and so the Ravenna-Internazionale transfer was an extremely good move as far as Santon’s future international career was concerned.
As a player on the Inter youth team, the U-20 Primavera, Santon helped them win the 2006-07 Campionato Primavera Trofeo and also helped them reach the finals in the 2007-08 season. Based on his Primavera achievements, he was invited to join the Inter senior team’s 2008-09 pre-season training exercises and ultimately stayed with them through the first half of their training for that season.
Although he was included in the line-up for four Inter senior games, including their Champions League game against Panathinaikos in September 2008, he did not play and only made his debut in January 2009. 19 days after his 18th birthday, Santon played for Inter for the first time in their quarterfinal win against Roma in the Coppa Italia and lasted the entire game. His Serie A debut came four days later when he was included in the Inter team that played against Sampdoria and helped them achieve a 1-0 victory.
He next made his European debut in a game against Manchester United, which was played at home and resulted in a draw. Because of his stellar performance in the Man-U game, Santon was given the starting position in his next game and has since started 13 times for Serie A games in the 2008-09 season. The Serie A 2009-10 season has seen him play against Parma as well as start the game against Cagliari.
As far as his international career is concerned, Santon made his debut on 31 March 2009 in the friendly between the Italian U-21 side and The Netherlands, which was played in Kerkrade to a 1-1 draw. On June 6th, he debuted for the senior Italian squad in their friendly against Northern Ireland and was subsequently placed on the roster for the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup.
Santon is sidelined at the moment, though, due to a knee injury that he received while playing for the U-21s in their 2011 European Challenge qualifier game against Luxembourg.